PARLIAMENT of CANADA

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LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

RECOMMENDATION 1:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, in coordination with Statistics Canada, produce a public monthly report on Employment Insurance coverage rates using gender disaggregated data for the B/U ratio, B/UC ratio and for the proportion of Employment Insurance contributors who received or will receive Employment Insurance regular benefits, including full-time and part-time workers and age category 15 years and older so as to improve monitoring of the Employment Insurance program’s coverage of unemployed women and men.

RECOMMENDATION 2:

The Committee recommends that Statistics Canada conduct an in-depth study, together with experts, on the status of women in the labour market and on the status of women who are not part of the labour force.

RECOMMENDATION 3:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada request statistics on voluntary reasons for leaving employment or working part-time or not entering the paid workforce that is gender disaggregated by age group 15 years and older.

RECOMMENDATION 4:

The Committee recommends that Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey provide a full breakdown by gender and age category 15 years and older and including full-time and part-time employment, and that the data be coordinated with Employment Insurance data so that monthly releases reveal exactly what numbers and percentages of male and female workers in every category: unemployed/former full-time, unemployed/ former part-time who receive Employment Insurance benefits plus the total Employment Insurance earnings received in each category and average Employment Insurance earnings per worker.

RECOMMENDATION 5:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada implement a uniform 360-hour qualification requirement, irrespective of regional unemployment rates or the type of benefit. This would establish that Employment Insurance is available to part-time workers.

RECOMMENDATION 6:

The Committee recommends that:

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada examine the impact of returning to a weeks-based qualification requirement given that the current hours-based qualification requirement unfairly discriminates against women who work in precarious employment and in part-time work.
  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada report its findings to Parliament by January 2010.

RECOMMENDATION 7:

The Committee recommends that the maximum benefit entitlement for regular benefits be extended to 50 weeks on a permanent basis and that additional weeks of entitlement should be considered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

RECOMMENDATION 8:

The Committee recommends that:

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada develop a measure showing the percentage of Employment Insurance beneficiaries who have exhausted their benefits and who become long-term unemployed are applying for social assistance;
  • That this measure be disaggregated by full-time/part-time, male/female, and age category 15 years and up; and
  • That this measure be coordinated with the provinces /territories using the same indicators.

RECOMMENDATION 9:

The Committee recommends that the two week waiting period be eliminated for all benefits.

RECOMMENDATION 10:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada increase the benefit rate from 55% to 60% or more of average weekly insurable earnings for both regular and special benefits.

RECOMMENDATION 11:

The Committee recommends that the government, based on the preliminary results of the ‘Best 14 Weeks’ pilot project, adopt a new rate of calculation period equal to the qualifying period. Only those weeks with the highest earnings in the new rate calculation period would be included, and these earnings would be an average of the best 14 weeks of insurable employment.

RECOMMENDATION 12:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada examine calculating benefits for farm owners on net income rather than gross income.

RECOMMENDATION 13:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada consider eliminating the New Entrants and Re-entrants rules.

RECOMMENDATION 14:

The Committee recommends that:

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada make maternity and parental benefits as flexible and equal as the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan by expanding eligibility, benefit levels and duration of EI benefits.
  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada extend benefits to the self-employed using the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan as its model.

RECOMMENDATION 15:

The Standing Committee on the Status of Women recommends that the government modify the Employment Insurance program for women who are laid off during or following maternity/parental leave so that benefits are calculated based on the number of hours worked prior to maternity/parental leave.

RECOMMENDATION 16:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada extend sickness benefits commensurate with Employment Insurance parental leave.

RECOMMENDATION 17:

The Committee recommends that Compassionate Care Benefits be extended commensurate with Employment Insurance parental leave.

RECOMMENDATION 18:

The Committee recommends that changes be made to the Compassionate Care Benefits so that it responds to the variability of need for care and that these changes be monitored annually to ensure they respond to the needs of caregivers.

RECOMMENDATION 19:

The Committee recommends that the medical criteria for Compassionate Care Benefits be expanded to include a broader definition of ‘the gravely ill’ encompassing both the severely and chronically ill.

RECOMMENDATION 20:

The Committee recommends that the medical proof requirements for Compassionate Care Benefits be modified so that they are more flexible.

RECOMMENDATION 21:

The Committee recommends that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada make publicly available on a monthly basis gender disaggregated data on the recipients of Employment Benefits and Support Measures under Part II of the Employment Insurance Act.

RECOMMENDATION 22:

The Committee recommends that:

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada track women’s participation in the Employment Benefits and Support Measures monthly to evaluate new measures introduced in Budget 2009 in order to ensure that women’s training and development needs are being addressed under the Labour Market Development Agreements;
  • And, that this monthly tracking of the Employment Benefits and Support Measures continue after the recession;
  • And, that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada report to Parliament in its Departmental Performance Report on the extent to which women’s training and development needs are being addressed by the Employment Benefits and Support Measures.

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